Jimmie Johnson Goes Back To Back With Bristol Win

Jimmie Johnson celebrates his 82nd Cup Series victory
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Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion collected his second victory in the last two races with a win in Monday's rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Johnson passed race leader Kevin Harvick with 19 laps to go and then held off a hard charge from Clint Bowyer to score his 82nd-career Cup Series victory and his second of the season.

Bowyer was second, followed by Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano.

Monday's victory was a rare one for Johnson, who has just one victory in 31 starts at the famous half-mile track coming back in this same event in 2010.

Coupled with his win two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnson is now just one victory shy of tying three-time series champion Cale Yarborough for sixth on the career wins list.

"I cannot believe that we're sitting here with 82 wins. To be in this position is quite an honor," said Johnson. "We have been close, we have just been making too many mistakes. Today was another flawless day of execution and a great race car and we got it done."

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]"This track has been difficult over the years and we really hit on something Saturday afternoon in that last practice session around the bottom and honestly, it's what I've been looking for here for 16 years and we finally figured it out. So, I'm very, very happy.

After a one-day delay following a deluge on Sunday, racing finally got underway just after 1pm with Kyle Larson leading the opening lap. Larson would go onto dominate the early running – leading all 125 laps of the opening stage, taking the green-checkered flag over Martin Truex, Jr., Erik Jones, Logano and Johnson.

Larson would continue to hold the point in the second stage before Truex, Jr. took over the top spot on lap 202 and would lead 46 of the remaining 47 laps to win the second stage over Logano, Johnson, Harvick and Jamie McMurray.

Truex, Logano and Larson would duke it out in the third segment before Larson and Truex, Jr. would both be nabbed for speeding on consecutive pit stops late in the race.

Johnson, who first took the lead on lap 394, restarted third for the final restart on lap 468 behind Harvick and Hamlin, who had elected to not to pit. Johnson wasted little time dispatching Hamlin as Larson roared all the way from the back o the field to move to second and challenge Harvick for the lead.

With Harvick holding off Larson on the high side, Johnson saw his opportunity and moved to the low side, and after a five-lap duel finally moved around Harvick on lap 480 to re-gain the lead.

Jimmie Johnson takes the checkered flag at Bristol
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Bowyer, who fought his way back from a speeding penalty of his own back on lap 326, got past his teammate Harvick with 15 laps to go to capture second, but Johnson had already set sail – taking the checkered flag by nearly 1.2 seconds.

The runner-up finish was the best showing for Bowyer since taking second at Richmond back in April of 2013 and his second-straight top-three finish in the last two races.

Bowyer was disappointed in not being able to track down Johnson in the closing lap, but after several disastrous seasons he was happy to finally be racing at a completive level again.

"It's just been this long since I've won a race, and here is pretty special. It would have been pretty cool to be over there in Victory Lane," said Bowyer. "I made a mistake on pit road and got caught speeding, and we was able to capitalize on that even and get ourselves in position to have a shot at winning the race

"I was starting to do some pretty desperate things with brakes and my line and stuff like that, and then you just realize — your mindset quickly changes, and you're like, all right, let's put it in perspective here, we've come a long ways, it was a long day, and second place is probably a good run for us, and we should be happy with that. We shouldn't hang our head about it."

Kyle Larson (front) led a race-high 202 laps on Monday
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Larson – who led a race-high 202 laps – fought his way back from a speeding penalty thanks to a late two-tire stop but couldn't compete with the cars running on four fresh tires and fell to sixth at the checkered flag, but still held onto the points lead by 27 points over Chase Elliott.

"I knew I gave the race away there," said Larson of his speeding penalty on lap 422. "I was surprised that I was able to line up with an opportunity there at the end. We lucked out taking two, and then the 78 sped and it lined up us fourth.

"I'm a little disappointed, but not bad. I'm more disappointed in myself from getting that speeding penalty. I was just pushing it down pit road and pushed it a little too far. I had a shot there still at the end, but four tires were better than ours."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kyle Busch were among the first drivers out of the race on Monday – Earnhardt, Jr. after hitting the wall on lap 219 and Busch after cutting down a right front tire twice before finally heading to the garage on lap 385.

Race Results

Pos. # Driver Make Start Laps Led Status Points Playoff Points
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevy 11 500 81 Running 54 10
2 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 9 500 0 Running 35 0
3 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 10 500 14 Running 41 3
4 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 22 500 0 Running 33 0
5 22 Joey Logano Ford 5 500 72 Running 48 1
6 42 Kyle Larson Chevy 1 500 202 Running 45 7
7 24 Chase Elliott Chevy 2 500 0 Running 35 2
8 78 Martin Truex Jr Toyota 3 500 116 Running 48 10
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 19 500 0 Running 29 0
10 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 16 500 10 Running 33 0
11 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 12 500 0 Running 28 0
12 1 Jamie McMurray Chevy 8 500 0 Running 35 0
13 3 Austin Dillon Chevy 21 500 0 Running 24 0
14 31 Ryan Newman Chevy 13 500 0 Running 23 5
15 13 Ty Dillon Chevy 24 500 0 Running 22 0
16 27 Paul Menard Chevy 26 499 0 Running 21 0
17 77 Erik Jones Toyota 14 499 0 Running 33 0
18 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 23 498 0 Running 19 0
19 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 32 498 0 Running 18 0
20 5 Kasey Kahne Chevy 17 498 0 Running 17 0
21 72 Cole Whitt Chevy 31 498 0 Running 16 0
22 43 Aric Almirola Ford 18 497 0 Running 15 0
23 38 David Ragan Ford 33 497 0 Running 14 0
24 83 Corey Lajoie Toyota 35 497 0 Running 13 0
25 41 Kurt Busch Ford 15 494 0 Running 12 5
26 95 Michael McDowell Chevy 28 494 0 Running 11 0
27 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevy 37 491 0 Running 10 0
28 15 Reed Sorenson Chevy 34 490 0 Running 9 0
29 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 36 487 0 Running 8 0
30 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevy 25 482 0 Running 9 0
31 55 Derrike Cope Toyota 39 465 0 Running 6 0
32 34 Landon Cassill Ford 30 458 5 Running 5 0
33 21 Ryan Blaney Ford 6 452 0 Running 4 2
34 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 4 433 0 Running 3 10
35 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 7 383 0 Accident 3 1
36 10 Danica Patrick Ford 29 320 0 Accident 1 0
37 51 Timmy Hill Chevy 38 234 0 Suspension 0 0
38 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevy 20 218 0 Accident 1 0
39 37 Chris Buescher Chevy 27 53 0 Accident 1 0

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